Millennials are a big deal. Most businesses and advertisers view them as trendsetters for good reason: They make up 25 percent of the population and represent$200 billion in annual buying power. That’s not to mention that they also have the power to profoundly influence other generations, both young and old.
One industry in which Millennial habits have already made a particularly significant impact is the fitness industry. In fact, they’ve largely rejected the fitness trends of previous generations and instead paved a new path to health and wellness. In doing so, they’ve transformed both the business of fitness and the idea of what it means to be healthy.
A Fitness Plan That Fits the Millennial Profile
Millennials have created a more personalized approach to fitness that encompasses the values of their generation. Overall, Millennials are:
- Well-informed. Millennials are a fast-paced generation. They devour news and informationas soon as it’s released and then share it with others, usually via social media. This quick turnover cycle has led to an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality in many aspects of life.
- Always looking for fresh, new things. For a generation that strives to be trendsetters, things quickly become outdated to Millennials. They’re always seeking new ways to get fit and eat healthy, even if it means creating something entirely new.
- Finding communities online and offline. The Internet has allowed Millennials to find more like-minded people than ever before. Millennials’ constant connectivity has allowed them to build larger communities of friends, both online and offline.
- Busy. Millennials are possibly the busiest generation yet. Their overscheduled lives mean they value shorter, quicker, and more convenient options for most things in life, especially workouts and healthy meals.
- Heavy tech users. Millennials are more likely to track their own health data and use technology as a complement to their fitness routine. In fact, health and fitness apps are used more by this age group than any other.
- Thinking of health differently. Being healthy means more than weight loss or looking good to Millennials. To them, health is increasingly about living a happier life.
What’s Hot and What’s Not
Millennials’ values and unique approach to health have fostered the growth of innovative fitness movements, health-focused stores and restaurants, and alternative medicine. Here are the three biggest health and fitness trends making an impact on the wellness industry.
- What’s hot: Shorter, full-body workouts that are also fun.
- What’s not: Steady-state cardio exercises as a starting point for losing weight and getting healthy.
It’s been increasingly shown that steady-state cardio workouts are not only the most effective way to lose weight but also the most boring (okay, the latter’s not scientifically proven, but that’s what my experience has shown).
Instead of torturing themselves on the treadmill, many Millennials have flocked to workout regimens that regularly switch exercises or use high-intensity interval training like Zumba, SoulCycle, and CrossFit.
- What’s hot: A more holistic approach to health.
- What’s not: Diets that emphasize rapid weight loss.
Millennials don’t believe that weight is the major signifier of health as much as previous generations have. Instead, they increasingly think of how many pounds they weigh as just one component of a healthy lifestyle. A higher percentage of Millennials define being healthy as having regular physical activity and good eating habits than older generations.
- What’s hot: Alternative workouts that are customizable, fun, and social.
- What’s not: Gym memberships and daily attendance.
Instead of hitting the gym, Millennials tend to prefer new forms of fitness that can be personalized to meet their needs. They like obstacle races like Tough Mudder, fun runs and marathons like The Color Run, at-home fitness workouts like P90X, and bodyweight regimens.
As a group, Millennials are redefining wellness and changing how the next generation will view health. Their preferences for fun, personalized workouts and holistic wellness have fueled trends with far-reaching implications for the food, tech, and healthcare industries. And it’s only just the beginning of a growing tide.
About the Author: Derek Flanzraich is an entrepreneur on a mission to help the world think about health in a healthier way. He is the founder and CEO of Greatist, a media startup working to make healthy living cool.Leave a reply →